Don’t get me wrong – I know how many incredible people I have in my life, but I don’t think I had ever comprehended that people would come – some a very long way – just to celebrate the fact that I love someone enough to marry them, and they love me right back. It’s sounds kind of strange to put it like that, but that’s exactly what it was. A celebration of love. And it was awesome.
In January this year, Wesley and I celebrated our engagement surrounded by 160-odd of our nearest and dearest. It was absolutely exhilarating. I can speak for both of us when I say it was genuinely one of the greatest nights of our lives. I’ve celebrated my 18th and 21st birthdays with parties where the majority of the attention was on me, but I was definitely not prepared for what was to come. Excuse me while I climb down from Cloud 9 and I’ll give you a bit of a run down, shall I?
The week leading up to our party was pretty hectic to say the least. With very little sleep, a considerably messy house and an extremely long to-do list, I wasn’t even sure I’d make it past 9pm the night of the actual party. I was so exhausted! A lot of important lessons learnt for Miss My-Wedding-Won’t-Be-Stressful, but in my defence, one minute it was Christmas Day and then all of a sudden it was mid-January. Seriously – where is this year disappearing to?
I guess you could say the weekend didn’t arrive without hiccups. Come the Friday afternoon, I was buzzing. I was knocking off work early, my car was packed with decorations and a car load of my favourite ladies were arriving at 4pm to help me decorate the venue. I was giving myself a big ol’ pat on the back for arriving at that moment unscathed…but unfortunately I couldn’t say the same for my mum, Heidi (aka my other mum) and two of my bridesmaids.
The call came about 3.10pm. I could tell by the tone of Mum’s voice that something wasn’t ok, but I had my fingers crossed for a flat tyre. Ba-bow. It was, unfortunately, a lot worse than a puncture. Somewhere along the Metropolitan Ring Road, the lid from a 6×4 trailer being towed in the first lane had blown off its hinges, crossed across three lanes of traffic and hit the front of Heidi’s (brand new, three week old) car. First and foremost, everyone was ok – a few aching necks, but no serious injuries thank God. The car? Not so lucky. With transmission fluid rapidly escaping into peak hour traffic, my crew knew they weren’t going to be arriving on time that day.
Our Emergency Plan was activated and Wes headed off to Melbourne to rescue our stranded guests while I contemplated how we would manage to set up a whole hall minus five helpers. Thankfully, I have three incredible friends who, powered by some delicious butter chicken as a bribe, managed to help me set up copious amounts of streamers and fairy lights in only a couple of hours. Absolute champs. Our weary travellers arrived four and a half hours late, most deserving of a good night’s sleep and one heck of an enjoyable weekend. Which we mostly definitely went on to achieve.
Saturday morning kicked off with champagne whilst trying on wedding dresses and having an absolute ball, but I’ll save that story for another time. #weddingdressshoppingrules
What followed was nothing but impressive. Five women. One trolley. Enough party snacks to feed 160 people. 20 minutes. If Woolworths gave prizes for speedy grocery shopping, we would have nailed first prize. (And if that shop wasn’t enough for you, our recovery skills when retrieving a spilt punnet of strawberries across a pedestrian crossing was like none other.)
Let me also point out that these same people unpacked the groceries, prepared kilos of fruit, cabana and cheese for platters AND made incredible direction signs for our guests all whilst I had my hair and make-up done. I officially have the best mothers/bridesmaids ever. (They also kept the food table stocked up and refilled my drinks all night without me having to ask once. Angels, the lot of them!)
The party. Oh, the party! I am happy to report it went off without a hitch. I wish it could have lasted longer. I wish time could have slowed down a little. All I know is that I have never been so overwhelmed with pure happiness. I was so happy to see every face that walked through the door, many of whom I hadn’t seen in a long time, and the feeling you get in your stomach when you are surrounded by all of your favourite people who have all come together purely because they care about you and want to celebrate the love you share with someone else – it is something else. I have never felt so loved in my entire life.
We laughed. We danced. We took a million and one selfies and participated in an outstanding rendition of Hello by Adele after way too many vodkas. I don’t think I stopped smiling all night. I was still smiling at 2.45am when we finally left the stragglers screaming the lyrics to Horses by Darryl Braithwaite. (I was even smiling the next morning, despite realising how hungover I was after only four hours sleep – yep, that’s how good it was!)
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; how did I ever get so lucky? I am so fortunate to be marrying my best friend and the love of my life, and we are so fortunate to be surrounded and supported by wonderful people. To everyone who made our night memorable – thank you. To everyone who brought us beautiful gifts – thank you. To my bridesmaids – you are the greatest. And to our parents – all of the thank yous in the world will never be enough.
Now bring on the wedding, I say.